CLARKE  ECHOLS
Independent Freelance
B2B Direct Response Copywriter

Because:
"Techniques and methods may change...
But principles and human nature
Never do."
“Use White Papers to Gain the Edge in Technology Sales”
Quality White Papers are Preferred by up to 90%
of Technology Decision Makers and B2B Buyers
When Considering Major or Important Purchases.
(970) 667-6736
1579 S. Taft Ave.
Loveland, CO 80537
 
Want to see my work?
Get your copy of my white paper that Gordon Graham — “That White Paper Guy” — liked so much when he read it.  Absolutely free — no opt-in required.
One change in how you market can slash advertising costs, increase sales and boost your reputation is built around two revealing case studies that will change your perspective on the world of marketing and advertising.
 
Charter Member
In Good Standing

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A few firms I've done projects and provided services for:
Hewlett-Packard Logo
Hewlett-Packard Company
Electronic instruments &
Micro-electronic devices:
Manufacturing & test engineering (10 years).
Computers: Online help systems design & implementation, Hardware & software plus Unix operating-system reference manuals & learning-products engineering (20 years).

RICHARD GAGE & ASSOCIATES
Richard Gage & Assoc.
Attorneys at Law
www.RichardGage.net, www.RichardGageLaw.com
Complete turn-key web projects: Website planning and design, custom XHTML and CSS programming, market positioning, and copywriting.
These websites load faster than 99% of all sites tested by 'pingdom.com'.

Street Hypnosis Logo
Street Hypnosis
Igor Ledochowski & Clifford Mee
Large project: Dozens of emails for world-wide, online marketing of their popular hypnosis-based, self- improvement products and programs.

Ensign Power Systems Inc. Logo
Ensign Power Systems, Inc.
Installation, Operating, And Maintenance manuals for custom high-reliability, military power supplies sold to US and foreign governments.

Settlement Professionals Inc. Logo
Settlement Professionals Inc.
Special report used by a financial planning firm to market their services related to structuring and managing personal-injury settlement funding.

Endorsed and Recommended
By:
Elite Lawyer
                 Project Logo
Elite Lawyer Project
Your Personal Injury Resource Center


Pardon our dust.
The site is still under construction but we wanted you to have access to the good, new information now instead of making you wait.

Break Through the Brick Wall of Noisy Advertising:

Get Attention and Direct Access
To Your Prospect's Mind...
With the Power
Of Well-Crafted White Papers
And Special Reports

The Din of Mass Advertising Is A Tough Barrier

Studies in American advertising over the last several years clearly show people are inundated with noisy commercial messages — each person encountering as many as 3,000 to 5,000 ads every day.

In response to the need for less intrusion, devices and methods to reduce the noise and hassles of unwanted ads are appearing in the marketplace. These include email spam filtering, telephone caller ID, TiVo recording to bypass TV commercials, liberal use of the [Delete] key or button on incoming email, and other tactics.

The ads are everywhere — on buses and taxicabs, bus-stop shelters, storefronts, billboards, print and electronic media, clothing and more.

Advertisers clamor for attention — buyers resist involvement.

But Your Prospects Still Want Guidance in Buying Decisions

The growth in demand for new technologies, more conveniences to help manage busy lives, more options for leisure and entertainment, as well as new "easy buttons" and "bright, shiny objects", is obvious to even the minimally attentive observer.

And there seems to be no limit to the number of businesses willing to feed that appetite for newer and better.

It also extends to the business and corporate environment where employees, managers, and C-suite executives crave new solutions to old problems, and more opportunities, tools, and methods to improve profitability, ease stress, and make everyone's job easier.

But company decision makers are busy. Often too busy to do their own research. That means they need help.

So to cut through the clutter of advertising messages — and separate fact from hype or fiction — decision makers need a way to get authentic, useful guidance from sources they know, like, and trust.

And when such a resource is made available, they willingly use it.

White Papers & Special Reports Solve the Problem

White papers, and similar documents — marketed and promoted as special reports, executive briefings, product backgrounders, or by other names — are popular, widely used solutions to obtaining the desired guidance in making better purchase and business-strategy decisions.

In fact, in some B2B specialties, 90% or more of decision makers say white papers are a preferred source of information when making important decisions or major purchases.

Well-conceived, well-written white papers also have a longer shelf life than other collateral, remaining useful much longer than other marketing materials.

Document Structure

The structure of a white paper or special report can vary widely, depending on the specific combination of information to be presented.

The format may be a numbered list ("7 Ways to ...", for example), or any of several other structures, as appropriate.

Document Length

There is no standard definition of what constitutes a "white paper". But generally speaking, the most commonly accepted lengths are:

  • 6-12 pages if it's called a "white paper", with the most common lengths ranging from 7-10 pages, excluding cover matter.
  • If shorter than about 6 pages, call it a briefing document, overview, or some other, more appropriate name.
  • If the document exceeds about 10-12 pages, it will be accepted better if you call it a special report or some other less common name so there are no particular length expectations.

I recommend avoiding the term "white paper" because it is so commonly misused. One of the most frequent complaints I hear from IT managers is: many documents promoted as white papers are little more than a thinly disguised product brochure providing little useful substance.

The next big complaint is they are not well-written, hard to understand, or poorly organized so it's hard to identify important information in the paper.

Structure and Approach

The approach and structure used when creating white papers varies widely, depending on audience and purpose. White papers most commonly fit the following pattern:

  • Identify the problem facing the prospect, and show why solving it is important to them.
  • Introduce multiple solutions, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. If it is a product backgrounder, special report, or other type of presentation, the structure may be considerably different.
  • Present your solution, your position on the issue, or other content, as appropriate, then finish with a call-to-action with instructions to the reader what to do next.
  • Finish with a summary and conclusion, including contact information as is suitable to the occasion.
  • Gordon "That White Paper Guy" Graham, author of White Papers for Dummies and a good friend of mine, refers to the various forms and formats of white papers by using flavors of ice cream that can be used in assorted combinations according the the marketing objectives and type of subject matter.
  • Key to effective white papers is to maintain a balanced editorial style, not unlike what you would expect in a professional or trade journal in the field you're addressing. Product promotions and such should be handled very carefully, avoiding blatant product-brochure kinds of writing and presentation.

    Readers know there will be some promotion near the end. But unless you make it obvious in your promoting the paper that it contains product specifics, be careful how you present your message, and maintain some semblance of journalistic balance and integrity so you can maintain the credibility you seek.

    Multiple Versions and Re-purposing

    Sometimes a white paper must meet the needs and interests of a broader range of audience than can be effectively addressed in a single paper. In such cases, a version for technical staff, another for executives not familiar with technical considerations, etc. may be in order.

    Some white papers or reports can be re-purposed for other uses by expanding into an ebook, converting to a video report, etc., adding versatility into your associated marketing activities.

    Creative Process

    My process for creating white papers usually follows a sequence of steps similar to the following:

    1. Objectives: You provide me with an initial summary identifying the purpose of the white paper or report, the target audience, the product or service and the problem it solves, or other information as appropriate, so I can clearly understand your objectives and the scope of what you're looking for.
    2. We then discuss that information to establish mutual expectations.
    3. You provide me with a creative brief, clearly identifying your target reader, his/her problem that you solve, demographics, psychographics, etc. If you don't have that, I can provide you with an audience-profile questionnaire to organize that information.
    4. You identify who the subject-matter expert(s) will be, and make arrangements for me to interview them. This interview will be recorded so I can use it for reference as needed when producing the intended document. I may also arrange to have the recording transcribed, as appropriate.
    5. I will then develop a general outline for the paper for your approval.
    6. Actual writing begins when I have possession of the necessary input, and have completed any initial research of my own, as needed.
    7. A finished draft will be provided for your review. If committees must review, or multiple reviewers require input into the document, you or the designated primary contact are responsible for gathering comments together and submitting them to me.
    8. You (or your company) is responsible for any necessary legal compliance issues. All legal or regulational compliance reviews and issues are the company's responsibility.
    9. After the review cycle is complete, I make the necessary changes and provide a second review opportunity before delivering final copy.
    10. If you need typeset copy, I have that capability available for companies who don't have their own graphic-design staff.
    11. Other needs can be addressed, as appropriate to the situation.

    I handled projects like this for much of 20 years as a senior writer at HP. I am able to maintain reasonable flexibility to adapt to scheduling needs or other related situations. The objective is to get a good product created with minimum bureaucratic hassle, with maximum effectiveness in the final result.

    A note about proposals

    I sometimes get requests for proposals. These tend to come from people who are shopping the market for a writer, usually looking for the best price.

    Let me save you time.

    If you're looking for a low bidder, you probably don't qualify to work with me. Clients I work with understand that experience and competence have value, and low-bid writers generally can't deliver what you really need.

    I have decades of experience and tens of thousands of dollars invested in specialized education a lot of writers and ad agencies lack. It therefore makes no sense for me to engage in a price competition.

    If you do require a proposal, that can be arranged — for a fee. If it leads to an actual project, part of the fee may be applicable to the project fee, depending on the situation.

    Just remember: Quality is free. The extra investment in quality work can usually be expected to return with a profit on your bottom line that exceeds, not only the premium paid for the job done better, but the entire price because the writer intends and expects it to produce a return.

    On the other hand, money "saved" from inferior work can cost far more in lost profits from lost sales that could have been, than you would have paid for the superior document.

    Get your sample white paper

    Want to see an example of my work? Get your copy of my white paper that Gordon Graham — “That White Paper Guy” — liked so well when he read it.  It's free. No need to give any personal information to get it.

    Titled One change in how you market can slash advertising costs, increase sales and boost your reputation, it will change your perspective on the world of marketing and advertising. Two hard-hitting case studies about companies you're already familiar with expose fallacies in common advertising practices.

    There's food for thought in there that's well worth contemplating.

    Need a white paper produced?

    If you have an immediate need, or are planning to use a white paper in your marketing and want to touch base, I'm happy to discuss it with you.

    Just let me know.

    By phone or email — Contact information:

    Clarke Echols
    1579 S. Taft Ave.
    Loveland, CO 80537
    (970) 667-6736
    email: Clarke@verinet.net